Big showing in the Show Me State

By |  December 13, 2022

“The older-school generation can work, work, work, and they can do 20 percent overtime and they will grit it out,” Farmer says. “People that are in their 30s and 20s burn out so fast when they have to do a little bit of overtime. The solutions are not easy, but we see that gap.

“Our older workforce is great and we want to keep them,” he adds. “But they’re going to age out eventually. [With] the younger people, it’s really hard to find the farm kid or the kid that really wants to come to the mine, the ready-mix plant [or] the paving crew [and] wants to put in the time for that money.”

Anderson says a key to increasing the labor pool is getting the word out about the industry.

“We have to be very targeted, get the message out and really focus on career development for these guys,” he says. “[We have to] show them that pathway to a career. If Anne [Noonan] was here, she’d tell you she’s working to create a path from a quarry to a CEO position in Summit Materials. [That’s] pretty exciting for the guys on the front line to be able to see that kind of vision.”

Attendance at the 2022 Missouri Limestone Producers Association Annual Convention was the highest it’s been in 11 years. Photo: P&Q Staff

Attendance at the 2022 Missouri Limestone Producers Association Annual Convention was the highest it’s been in 11 years. Photo: P&Q Staff

Other perspectives

Producers, manufacturers and dealers were among those in attendance at the MLPA convention over the course of three days. They, too, reflected on the state of the industry nationally and within Missouri – plus how their association is faring.

Capital Materials’ Chris Williams, a member of MLPA’s board of directors who’s attended the convention for the past 15 years, was one producer who was on hand. Williams is glad to be part of an association whose events are adapting and adding components that members want.

“The fact is that trade associations at the state level are one of our greatest assets to moving the industry forward,” he says. “Dan is relatively new as our executive director, and he has been incredibly creative. He and Jean [Glavin, office manager at MLPA,] do a great job. It’s a phenomenal opportunity to be with everybody. It’s a great event.”

Among the manufacturers in attendance was Polydeck’s Jerry Teague, who has attended the MLPA convention since 2002. Teague was pleased with what the 2022 edition offered.

“We’ve seen a lot of new people, a lot of younger folks coming to this event,” says Teague, Eastern U.S. manager for aggregates at Polydeck. “The show was great this year. I’ve seen companies here that I haven’t seen before, which is really good. We’re excited about what the MLPA does for Missouri. It’s great for Missouri, and I think it’s only going to grow and get better from here.”

Teague says producers and manufacturers feel a sense of support from the association with what it does for members.

“[The MLPA] is letting the [members] know that they are with them,” he says. “That they’re here for them. This is not just something that you come and attend and there is no benefit or no value. They’re trying to let everyone know that there is value and there is benefit to the MLPA and participating in it.”

Jack Kopanski

About the Author:

Jack Kopanski is the Managing Editor of Pit & Quarry and Editor-in-Chief of Portable Plants. Kopanski can be reached at 216-706-3756 or

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